The safety and amenity of residents living in areas near major hazard facilities is a priority for the Victorian Government, along with ensuring the continued viability and growth of these industries.
In January 2018, the government released its response to the Major Hazard Facilities Advisory Committee Report on how to better manage land surrounding major hazard facilities.
The independent committee was appointed in 2015 to provide advice on how to improve land use planning around major hazard facilities in Victoria. The committee undertook extensive consultation with industry, councils, stakeholders, and community members, and provided a report to the Minister for Planning in July 2016.
Victoria’s major hazard facilities manufacture, store and process a range of important materials for the benefit of customers, communities and governments nationwide. They supply the state with products which are vital to the Victorian economy such as petroleum, gas, chlorine for water treatment, plastics and medical oxygen. These facilities are key components of Victoria’s industrial infrastructure and employ thousands of Victorians statewide.
In Victoria, we have stringent requirements for the design and operation of major hazard facilities, and WorkSafe Victoria closely oversees compliance with them. However, as more people live and work close to these facilities, we must ensure that planning for our growth includes having the right planning framework in place to minimise risk to community safety and provide certainty to industries so they can continue to provide the key services that support our growth.